Congress refuses to get on SilverLine bandwagon
Congress leaders including K Sudhakaran and M M Hassan who was active in the anti-SilverLine protests are yet to say anything about the ongoing debate over the revival of the SilverLine project.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite SilverLine chugging back into discussions in the state’s political circles after a brief lull, the Congress leadership has refused to get on board.
More than five days after K V Thomas, the Kerala government’s special representative in Delhi, held talks with ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan on the rail project, the party’s state president and Leader of Opposition continued to maintain a stoic silence.
Though K Sudhakaran has been vocal about the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), he hasn’t uttered a word on the ongoing debate over the revival of the SilverLine project. Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan and senior leader Ramesh Chennithala too have decided not to respond on the matter for the time being.
UDF convenor M M Hassan, who was active in the anti-SilverLine protests, has also remained mum.
Sources said the Congress and UDF leaderships are of the view that the proposed semi-high-speed project is in a primitive stage. They also do not want to be branded as anti-development.
“The Congress has adopted a wait-and-watch approach for the time being. Party leaders are waiting for the detailed project report to assess the environmental hazards of the proposed project and its impact on people,” they said.
The Congress leadership, however, is well aware of Thomas’ proximity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the trust he enjoys with Pinarayi. It knows that with hardly a year left for the Lok Sabha election, the Left government is in a hurry to set things right.
Venugopal alleges nexus
Even as the state leadership chose to remain mum, Congress national general secretary K C Venugopal came out swinging, alleging a hidden truck between the CPM and the BJP over the project. He took to Facebook to accuse his former colleague Thomas of acting as a bridge between Modi and Pinarayi.
“The moment K V Thomas and E Sreedharan held talks, the project was back on track. Doubts arose after BJP state president K Surendran also entered the picture.
Without an iota of doubt, it can be said that the revived project, which was envisaged in just two days, reeks of conspiracy,” said Venugopal. Senior Congress MP K Muraleedharan echoed the views. He told TNIE that a clear-cut conspiracy was hatched between Thomas, Sreedharan, Pinarayi Vijayan and Surendran.
“Otherwise, how can the report on the revived project be ready in just 24 hours? Surendran rushing to meet Sreedharan exposed the nexus of the four leaders. They have been showing undue haste in implementing the rail project. We need to wait for the DPR,” he added.